Child Suppport, Maintenace And Bankruptcy
The law does not allow a person owing a child support or maintenance to use bankruptcy as a way to avoid payment.
In fact, virtually any obligation to pay under a divorce decree is now characterized as a “Domestic Support Obligation” and therefore cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. This includes not only child support or maintenance, but also property divisions, marital estate equalization payments, payments in settlement agreements, qualified domestic relations orders, contempt payments, vehicle debts, mortgages, credit cards, lines of credit, personal loans, medical insurance, costs for non-covered medical care, retirement plan divisions, military retirement, and even attorney fee awards.
This law applies to both a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding. Domestic Support Obligations receive the number 1 priority for repayment in a Chapter 13 plan or when funds are available in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy estate.